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Video Game / Quackshot

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Quackshot: Starring Donald Duck is a platformer developed by Sega for the Sega Genesis, released in 1991. It stars the titular Donald and his young nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie on an Indiana Jones-style hunt for treasure.

Whilst in his Uncle Scrooge's library, Donald stumbles on a treasure map belonging to King Garuzia, the ancient ruler of the Great Duck Kingdom. Believing this will make him rich beyond his wildest dreams, he sets off treasure hunting with his nephews. Unknown to him, however, Pete learns of his plans and sets about following his every move in hopes of stealing his riches.

Aside from the game's enjoyable platforming, the player could take on each available level in whatever order they saw fit. However, the end of each level leads to a "dungeon" entrance that could only be accessed with the right item or weapon. As Donald, the player could call in his nephews' plane to whisk him off at this point and return to the entrance when he located the required items in other levels. Essentially, most levels could be beaten in any order but the "dungeons" and final levels had to be beaten in a specific order to progress.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo / Edible Ammunition: Your arsenal consists of a Plunger Gun, Explosive Bubblegum Bubbles, and a powerful Scattershot Popcorn. Enemies fire tomatoes, toxic gunk and even throw beehives at you.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Japanese cover features Donald and his nephews smiling at you with Pete throwing a comical tantrum behind them. Granted, Donald being Donald, the Western cover might be considered more in-character, especially since he has a scowling look on his face in the game itself anyway.
  • Anachronistic Clue: The Viking Leader describes the Green Plunger upgrade as "Ancient Viking Plunger".
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you pickup a Bubblegum Ammo refill, then move away, the pickup will respawn offscreen. Since a few segments require the usage of Bubblegum Ammo, this ensures you never get stuck.
  • Backtracking: The checkpoint flags avoid this happening for the most part. You simply fly back to the end of a level to access a new section, when you gain the means to progress. But there are two clear examples of this. When you gain the red plunger off Goofy or the bubblegum ammo from Gyro, you're forced to head all the way back through the level to a flag to get picked up in the plane. The sections aren't that long so it's a minor case.
  • Barrage of Bats: During his visit to a castle in Transylvania, he fights Count Dracula as a boss battle. During the fight, Dracula floats around the screen wrapped in his cape, stops at certain points and opens his cape to release bats at Donald.
  • Big Bad: Pete, who was actually literally known as "Big Bad Pete" at the time. Mind that while he does menace Donald for most of the game, he's beaten before the last level.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Dracula's Castle is filled with ghosts as is the haunted Viking Ship. One of these acts as a hazard in two sections that play out in a game of Grandma's Footsteps.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Subverted. Sure, you defeated Pete and the final boss, but for all your efforts, it turns out the treasure was a just a lousy statue. However, when the useless lump of rock is accidentally dropped, it reveals a priceless necklace, which makes Daisy a very happy girl and grants the happy ending after all.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: The hot chili item sends Donald into a rage where he is temporarily invincible.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Transylvania has you make your way through an evil swamp to reach the castle.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: Egypt and its pyramid dungeon containing the "Staff of Ra".
  • The Cameo: Kaa appears as one of many snake mooks and Shere Khan as a boss fight in India. Goofy and Gyro Gearloose both provide the player with new weapons.
    • In a middle area in Duckburg (after you get the red plunger that lets you climb walls), you can see a blimp, with Mickey's face on it, flying in the background.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Goofy gave a strange note that contained hints of icon lists' order to Donald, who needed to remember later on.
  • Climax Boss: Pete. The actual final boss is the guardian of the treasure.
  • Collapsing Ceiling Boss: The Final Boss. When he throws his sword into the wall, it creates a quake that causes blocks to fall on you from above.
  • Creator Thumbprint: Takashi Yuda's signature (as Thomas Yuuda) can be seen on the bottom of the world map and on the minecarts Donald can ride on certain levels.
  • Crouch and Prone: From a crouching position, you're able to dodge projectiles and perform a ground slide, which not only lets you slide under things, but is faster than walking, or even sprinting.
  • Dracula: One of the game's bosses.
  • Evil Overlooker: Both the North American and Japanese cover arts depict Pete as such. The North American box art depicts him standing atop a mountain, trying to crush Donald with a boulder, while the Japanese box art depicts him shaking his right fist at Donald while clinging onto his plane's rope ladder with his left hand.
  • Event Flag: Unusual literal form. When Donald reaches certain points in levels and meets characters, he is told that a certain event is occurring in another level, or he can now get a certain item in another level. When this happens, Donald usually marks the spot with a flag. The flag actually represents a checkpoint he can go back and forth between via an airplane, but it's also an Event Flag because once Donald puts that flag down, the event in the level has occurred.
  • Flourish Cape in Front of Face: While fighting Dracula in Transylvania, the vampire wraps his cape in front of his face.
  • Furry Confusion: One of the power-ups you can collect to heal youself is roast duck. Then, there's the fact you need to stick a green plunger onto Pete's parrot henchmen to fly across distances. Apparently, ducks are the only anthropomorphic birds around not blessed with flight.
  • Horny Vikings: All the vikings featured on the "Viking Ship" level, alive or undead.
  • I Have Your Wife: Pete kidnaps and ties-up Huey, Dewey & Louie in order to exchange them for the diary. Donald immediately relents and trades them for the book.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: Collect enough chili peppers and it maxes out the temper meter, sending Donald into his trademark berserk mode, making him temporarily invincible and faster.
  • Jungle Japes: The first part of the island stage, with snakes, falling leaf platforms and vanishing vines to boot.
  • King Mook: Pete's henchmen resemble shorter versions of himself, and Pete himself serves as the boss of the Hideout.
  • Levels Take Flight: The South Pole and the Hideout each have sections where Donald needs to use the green plunger given to him by the Viking Leader to latch onto a flying bird that will carry him across huge gaps. While flying, Donald has to evade the enemy birds that fly in the opposite direction.
  • Locked Door: Mexico, Egypt, and the Viking Ship all have a door blocking off the dungeon area. In all cases, Donald has to go to another stage to find the appropriate key and then come back to unlock it.
  • Minecart Madness: The final part of the Egyptian pyramid and the midway point of Peteís Hideout have Donald hop into mine-carts, and ride across, jumping into other mine-carts when thereís a break in the track.
  • Next Tier Power-Up: Donald's upgraded plungers, each giving him a new stunt he can do with them. The first upgrade lets them stick to walls to make stairs, and the second does that and lets Donald hang onto birds to get over long pits.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: Several items require a bit of thought to get to. But not that much.
  • Polar Bears and Penguins: Penguins in the South Pole.
  • Power-Up Food: Ice cream and roast turkey restore lost health, and chili peppers increase Donald's temper. Collecting five of the latter causes Donald to go on a rampage.
  • Puzzle Boss: A variant: the Egyptian pyramid "boss" is actually a Descending Ceiling which lowers while the boss theme plays. In order to survive, you have to push the buttons on the floor in the right order (each of which is marked with a different symbol). Earlier on, Goofy gives you a note with the combination, although what the note is actually referring to isn't obvious till you actually reach the boss. It's also possible to climb to the top and get out of the way in time if you are very fast with your plungers and jumping.
  • Red Herring: The treasure turns out to be a statue. And to be honest, such an ending would fit nicely with Donald's typical luck, despite the player's anguish. Fortunately, there's one final twist.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Mexico and Egypt both start out as desert levels.
  • Shout-Out: Indiana Jones gets a lot of references in the game. It's clearly the major inspiration for the game.
    • The logo (pictured above) is in the style of the Indiana Jones lettering (and, by extension, DuckTales).
    • Donald's outfit is similar (sans pants of course).
    • The Genesis/Mega Drive cover even had him surrounded by snakes.
    • A mine-carting & Maharajah's palace level much like in The Temple of Doom.
    • The sought-after diary that reveals the treasure's location, like the one of Henry Jones Sr. in The Last Crusade.
    • Pete is dressed like the villain René Belloq from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and like Belloq resorts to kidnapping to steal the hard-earned treasure from the protagonist.
    • The final sequence before the last boss involves a scenario exactly like the "Leap of Faith" from The Last Crusade.
    • The Final Boss is a crusader Knight who looks a lot like the one guarding the Grail.
    • Ironically, the game doesn't reference the famous giant boulder from Raiders, which was a reference to a Scrooge McDuck story.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The South Pole. Complete with Penguins. Evil Penguins.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Sure, Donald can't fly, but he's still a duck that can handle a very long time under water in Dracula's castle. Making what would have been a frustrating section enjoyable.
  • Temporary Platform: Certain enemies like floating blocks briefly become this when struck with plungers. There's also the crumbling and burning away variants too.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Donald jumped a notch in this game. On the villain side of things, Shere Khan of all creatures. Who actually breathes fire during his boss fight! Talk about conquering your fears and using them against your enemies.
  • Treasure Map: King Garuzia's map sets the game in motion.
  • Under the Sea: A booby-trapped, spike-ridden section of Dracula's castle makes up the obligatory underwater level. Dracula really didn't want people getting to him, it seems.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: All of Pete's dog henchmen look like him. Cousins, maybe?